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Porsche Design P'6500 Titanium Automatic Watch
Porsche Design P'6500 Titanium Automatic Watch
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Hi all, welcome Porsche Design back with the P’6500 Titanium Chronograph! Here are some thoughts I had after wearing the watch around for a brief period, and a brief discussion of the tachymeter and some unique approaches to the challenge of timing separate events consecutively.
First things first, the weight. I expected the watch to have some significant heft with its fully metal bracelet, but the density of titanium allows the maker to use less material to make a watch that is just as solid. As a result, the watch weighs in at 4.8 oz—certainly no featherweight, but it certainly wears lighter than expected.
Another factor that cuts back from the expected size of this watch is the bracelet. Though I was not able to size it to fit, the integrated lugs curve sharply downwards to make the watch wear smaller than its 40.5 x 15.5 mm size would suggest. The solid links fit together in a way that is almost reminiscent of Twist-o-flex bracelets and feel sturdy yet gentle. I did not resize the bracelet to fit my wrist, so I wasn’t able to tell exactly how it would fit, but the quality of the bracelet is reassuring. Furthermore, the bracelet features a hidden dive extension for a quick expansion to fit over a diving suit.
The sand blasted finish of the case feels nice against the skin and gives the watch a bit of character; I personally feel that it goes pretty well with the almost industrial feel of the watch (further emphasized by the knurling on the chronograph pushers and the deep ridges on the bidirectional bezel). Bead blasting is something that is up to personal taste; whether or not you enjoy the aesthetic yourself, you cannot deny the quality of the finishing on this case.
The final aspect I wanted to touch upon was the rotating bezel. I think that this was an interesting, yet functional choice by Porsche Design. By including both the tachymeter and a twelve hour scale on the bezel, the user is able to choose between using the bezel to time separate events with the tachymeter or (the more likely option) to track a second time zone.
A rotating tachymeter bezel is something that is seen pretty rarely in watches, but it ties into Porsche Design’s racing background presents some interesting use-cases. The tachymeter is a tool used for approximating speed or distance of an event over time, given the other as a constant. So then, what could a rotating tachymeter possibly be good for? On the Dash, THE source for vintage Heuer, wrote this great piece explaining that exact point: http://thoughts.onthedash.com/thoughts/heuers-innovation-the-rotating-tachymeter-bezel-for-race-timing/. To paraphrase, the tachymeter is fantastic for the functionality just described; however, it runs into some issues when presented with the challenge of having to time multiple events back to back (for example, lap times in a race). The rotating tachymeter is one of multiple innovations to present a solution. The easiest solution, of course, is to have multiple stopwatches; one for each event. However, this isn’t quite as much fun as building an additional complication into a watch. A couple of complications that presented a solution are the flyback chronograph—which can be reset while running and will continue running immediately from zero—and the split-second chronograph, which has two center-mounted hands that can be run separately.
The solution presented by Heuer, and utilized in this Porsche Design timepiece, is the rotating tachymeter. Rather than build a completely new complication, Heuer mounted the tachymeter onto a rotating bezel. You can then keep the chronograph running, and simply rotate the bezel to line up the start of the tachymeter with where the chronograph hand was at the end of the first event—essentially zeroing out the reading at the beginning of the second event. Simple, elegant, and fun for fidgeters to play with. Seems like a win-win to me!
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